Boots & Sabers

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1547, 28 Aug 17

Report: Nearly 45 percent of Milwaukee millennials struggle to pay rent

That’s the headline. Here’s the story:

Nationally, 46.5 percent of those in the millennial generation struggled to afford rent.


Nationally, about 45 percent of Generation X and 49 percent of Baby Boom renters had trouble paying for rent.

So… Millennials are in the middle of generational burden. The report is actually more¬†balanced, generationally speaking, but the media decided to hype the number for Millennials.

Also bear in mind that the threshold for when the report considers a person struggling is arbitrary. They set the threshold that if a person spends 30% or more on rent, then they are burdened. But that doesn’t take into lifestyle choices. For example, a person who lives in Manhattan and spends 40% of their income on rent, but doesn’t have any vehicle or commuting expenses, may find that their rent is a bargain.

In any case, whenever reading a story like this, I try discern why it is in the news. Am I supposed to be concerned about how much money people are paying for rent? Why? It’s an interesting demographic artifact, but it doesn’t seem to warrant the alarm that the media report suggests.


1547, 28 August 2017


  1. steveegg

    How many of those “struggling” renters think nothing about doing the majority of their grocery shopping at Whole Foods (prior to today’s Amazon-ordered price chops)?

    I’m looking forward to “free housing for all” out of the Democrats next year (and probably out of Trump in 2020).

  2. Kevin Scheunemann

    In my experience, any tenant of mine that has had trouble paying rent….it was due to their poor life choices. Alcohol/drug addiction. Wasting $250 a crack on interactive video games or foolishly spending money in other ways.

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